Have you ever gotten an unexpected call from a reporter? What did you do first? If you answered, “panic,” you’re not unlike many clients I’ve encountered. Why is our first response to a media inquiry to panic? And how can we calm down and marshal our resources to answer their questions — without the desire to head for the hills?
Why do we panic when we have to talk to the media?
There’s something about an unexpected media request that strikes fear in people. It may be because we’ve all seen those “gotcha” segments on the news — stories in which a company or its spokesperson looks like the bad guy. When a reporter gets in touch unexpectedly, it can make someone feel as though they’re being put on the spot, and they worry they’ll say the wrong thing. Even in industries that aren’t fraught with scandals, there are times when ANY business can find itself in the position of responding to a media inquiry they didn’t know was coming their way.